Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Plastic wast - issues and challenges.

Plastics Waste: Environmental Issues and Challenges

The quantum of solid waste is ever increasing due to increase in population,
developmental activities, changes in life style, and socio-economic
conditions, Plastics waste is a significant portion of the total municipal
solid waste (MSW). It is estimated that approximately 10 thousand tons
per day (TPD) of plastics waste is generated i.e. 9% of 1.20 lacs TPD of
MSW in the country. The plastics waste constitutes two major category
of plastics; (i) Thermoplastics and (ii) Thermoset plastics. Thermoplastics,
constitutes 80% and thermoset constitutes approximately 20% of total
post-consumer plastics waste generated in India. The Thermoplastics are
recyclable plastics which include; Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), Low
Density Poly Ethylene (LDPE), Poly Vinyal Choloride(PVC), High Density
Poly Ethylene (HDPE), Polypropylene(PP), Polystyrene (PS) etc. However,
thermoset plastics contains alkyd, epoxy, ester, melamine formaldehyde,
phenolic formaldehyde, silicon, urea formaldehyde, polyurethane,
metalised and multilayer plastics etc. The environmental hazards due to
mismanagement of plastics waste include the following aspects:
❯ Littered plastics spoils beauty of the city and choke drains and make
important public places filthy;
❯ Garbage containing plastics, when burnt may cause air pollution by
emitting polluting gases;
❯ Garbage mixed with plastics interferes in waste processing facilities
and may also cause problems in landfill operations;
❯ Recycling industries operating in non-conforming areas are posing
unnhygienic problems to the environment.

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